Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Time Rockets

Ah yes, new semester started.

And like last semester, I had that mixture of exhilaration, excitement, worry and hope on the first day. Hope for a better semester from all aspects, excited of new subjects and friends and worry of exams. (Yes, I'm starting to dread Sem 5 exam where we'll be tested on everything we've learned for the past 2.5 yrs).

In semester 3, the test I had to face was having lectures at 1.30 to 3.45pm every Monday to Thursday. And that's the best time to sleep, having had lunch one hour or two before lecture, added with the fact that the lecture theatre was air-conditioned and some lecturers preferred to keep the theatre dim so that their ppt presentation can be seen better.

And now in semester 4, class is at around 4-6.30pm everyday, and it is the fasting month.
By the time I get to the carpark, it'll be almost 7pm and I have to rush home for break fast, or break fast, sadly, in the car in the midst of traffic jam.

Yesterday, I had been lucky as the class ended 30mins earlier thus I even managed to catch the 7pm Canto drama I hv been following. I am not sure how fate is for me today, break fast at home, in the car or in IMU?

And I've just received a terrible news. IMU is going to charge students for the carpark up on the hill. That's ridiculous! Bad enough that the carpark is located high up on the hill, with questionable security control (they had been cases of students robbed while walking to the carpark) and the lack of space (some of us had to park OUTSIDE the compound) , now it's not gonna be free anymore? Ugh!
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nuclear Power?


Yesterday, 21st Aug 2010 I attended a forum/debate in PJ. The motion of the day was, "Nuclear Power in Malaysia - The YES' and the NOs". And what caught me laughing was, both the debaters were not originally from Malaysia.
Not that I'm anti non-Malaysians but I wonder why aren't Malaysians (which includes me) debating this? Why leave to other people?
Nevertheless, both the speakers are gentlemen who know their subjects well, both being lecturers in prominent IPTAs and researchers of their own.

Since my family will want to avoid me travelling alone on my own, I dragged my 14 y.o brother along. Lucky enough, he didn't fall asleep during the debate, in fact he understood the argument and discussed with me during our journey home.
This was the first time I went for a public debate like this and I actually enjoyed it! Both speakers presented their arguments, with the pro-nuclear conquered the stage first.

When Q&A session were opened to members of the floor, some audience posed their questions, while some stole the limelight, becoming the "guest speaker". There were more opinions than questions from the audience which, in my opinion should not be the case in a debate. But, if that i.e opinions and comments from the audience was what the organiser hoped, then they succeeded. There were also, useful opinions that gave me new infos into the matter.

The Pro Nuclear speaker (Mr Mohd Peter Davis)' main argument was any other alternative power sources are unreliable, unable to generate enough power to sustain the usage in Malaysia. He emphasised that if Malaysia were to depend on solar energy, we will need to install a solar power plant as big as Perlis + Penang + half of Negeri Sembilan, while nuclear power plant needs much less space. And he pointed out that with the dependance on solar power, Malaysians can only get 8 hours of electricity in a sunny day while only 4 hours in a rainy day.

He rejected biomass because according to him, that's a futile way of generating electricity. Using human's food (sugarcane) to generate electricity for human.
However, he did not touch at all on the fact that nuclear power is a potentially lethal source of power. Since the world have heard of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, resulting in the death of hundred thousands of people and affecting the lives of the people nearby and even their new generations, I wonder why aren't he refuting the danger of this power source or at least say that it's worth it.

Just as an information, I went there holding an almost neutral flag. I know that nuclear brings a lot of destruction to us mankind, but at the same time, nuclear fission is also a good way of generating greater quantity of power. And I had never given the topic any further thoughts. It's certainly not one topic that I must think about everyday. And that was the reason I was ready to hear the points of both parties. My mother had always grumbled why aren't Malaysia putting enough effort to develop solar energy. We boast as a tropical country with equal periods of day and night. We're blessed with sunlight 12 hours a day, why aren't we using that? Why must we insist on following the West? They have not enough sunlight, thus they must make do what they have, be it wind or nuclear. We have FREE source shining our days everyday, and we refused to use that?

The Anti Nuclear speaker (Mr Michael Allan) touched heavily on the danger of nuclear power, and how it'll affect not only the lives of the people dealing with it, but also their descendants force to bear marked genetic deformities. Not only that, using nuclear power as the power source in Malaysia will only make the rich people richer, since they are the ones promoting the usage of nuclear power.

We all know Marie Curie died of aplastic anaemia, no doubt due to the amount of radioactive substances she unknowingly exposed herself to. That, is a valid proof of the danger of nuclear power.

When the audience were posing questions and opinions, I actually had some Qs to ask Mr Peter Davis (pro nuclear) but I can't find the courage to raise my hand and ask. I dont think I can stand the tension of all eyes on the floor staring at me waiting for me to speak. That will be too overwhelming for me to handle and I might just lose my voice all of a sudden, or even forgot that I can actually speak English. So, I did not ask anything, merely listening to other people and laugh where appropriate.

The questions I wanted to ask Mr Davis were:

1) In his opinion, can Malaysia afford to invest in the development of nuclear power? We aren't blessed with natural source of uranium. Aeronautic field sounded promising years ago, when Malaysia started sending own satellites outspace but now, they are finding it hard to sustain the industry. The govt could not afford the development of the technology, and at the same time we have to compete with bigger powers that have established their aeronautic industry. Will nuclear industry in Malaysia face the same fate? Started and then unable to progress? By then it'll be too late as we can't just stop the industry, we have the dangerous waste products to be disposed, or at least contained until appropriate measures to dispose them are found.

2) IF Malaysia have the capacity to develop nuclear power, it's not like we'll be able to use it in the next 5 years. We need a lot of time just to build a safe nuclear power plant. 50 years ago Korea was at a lower stage than us but since they develop nuclear energy, they are now better than us. That will mean we might need at least 30-40 yrs to be a developed nuclear country. What then make him think that in that same 30-40yrs, solar energy cannot be developed? Surely with more research, the area needed for solar power plant will decrease from 2.5 states to maybe .5 state, or just as big as a water dam? After all, we once had big computer monitors, then flat screens, then notebooks, netbooks and now come iPads as small as 1 feet. As time passes and technology advances, size can be reduced. Is there anything that he knows that make him so sure that solar energy is a definitely useless and incapable power source? Just like he suggested so that we adapt the nuclear technology Korea is using now, perhaps in 30, 40 or 50 yrs later, some other countries might use Malaysia as an example, and adapt the solar technology we're using. Why must we follow people, but not pioneering our own industry since we have the source?

3) Since he did not at all touch the incidents and danger of nuclear power resulting in deaths of millions (I think) people so far, in his opinion do the benefits of nuclear power outweigh the danger? Why? He agrees or not that nuclear power is dangerous?

But, neither of these Qs escaped my mouth.
They merely got stucked in my mind.
Perhaps I should pluck my courage other time.

Anyway, I think this post is long enough.
Happy Ramadhan!

p/s: I went home waving the anti-nuclear flag. And so did my brother. Since Malaysia has abundant other resources, let's use them first before jumping into a dangerous field, shouldn't we?

Exam opinion by Dr M



10. It is not having examination which is wrong. It is the kind of examination we conduct which is wrong. We need to study the kind of examination and improve it rather than simply abolishing examinations.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Viva Palestina Convoy to Gaza

Friends, there will be a convoy by Viva Palestina to Gaza which is scheduled to depart London on 18th Sept 2010.

Please help up by donating to the convoy via:

Muslim Professionals Forum Berhad
Maybank Account
by 30th August 2010.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

What Hv I Been Doing


Be warned, the talkative-ness in me is showing up.
I'm gonna bore you with some insights into what have I been doing lately.


Ah yes, by far this is the biggest thing I've done so far.
Electives in a private hospital near Damansara under a paediatrician.
My supervisor asked me to reach there by 8am, for he starts his ward rounds at that time.
I was determined to reach at least 10mins early on my first day. But, I underestimated the traffic! I reached 5mins late and by the time I reached the doctor's clinic/office, gasping for air as I ran from the carpark to the lobby to ask for direction and into his office, he's already waiting for me. I introduced myself, apologised and he stood up, asked me to follow him.
I left my bag, took out my stethoscope and tailed him.

A known fact, paediatrician deals with sick kids. And from my observation, most of the kids are warded due to either 1) Respiratory problems (Asthma, bronchiolitis, pneumonia etc) 2) Gastrointestinal problems (food poisoning etc).

And since this is a private hospital, most of the kids are from families with money. Yes, I'm sure you know what I meant.
In the clinic, respiratory problems still dominate. Most of the kids come in with cough, fever and sore throat. And the doctor advised parents to reduce the temperature of the air-conditioner and emphasised that this problem might arise due to the usage of air-cond.
And that

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Do Some of Us Have Better Brain than Others?


Last week, someone discussed this topic with me.

He believes that all new born babies have brains with the same potential and same capacity. It is then up to the parents or guardians to lead the development of the brain.
The environment, the food and the people around the baby will then shape and influence the development of the baby's brain. And that is how we get good and bad students in schools. Bad students were not born with bad brains. They were born with the exact same brain that a good student was born with. But this bad student was unfortunately "wrongly-developed" by the parents and the environment he lived in. And this is not solely the parents' fault because there are other factors putting the parents in that bad condition they are living in.
And those were his points.

However, I beg to differ.I believe not everyone was born with a brain of the same capacity and potential.
That is how "talent" and "gift" come around.
Some babies are born with a brain that can calculate very fast. Some babies were born with a brain that knows exactly how to manipulate the tension of the vocal cord, giving that baby beautiful voice when he/she grows up.

Some children were born with slow critical thinking, they can't catch what the teachers are teaching but, they might be born with superbly creative mind. They can sketch beautifully, dance gracefully, or even run as fast as the wind.

And I also believe that gene plays a very good part in the type of brain someone was born with. A couple of intellects have a high possibility to "produce" children with academically-good brains. I'm not saying rubber tappers will not get academically-good children because, they themselves might actually have academically-good brains but their potentials were somehow blocked, due to the lives they were living in, forcing them to forget their studies and work at a very young age. Which was why I believe we should choose our life partners carefully, as it affects our descendants.

If we speak from only academical aspect then yes, I'd say some people are fortunately born with better brains. They can catch what the teachers are talking about, they responded in class, and they know what they are doing.
Some other students just can't understand what the teacher is talking about. When I told my mother (who works as a teacher in a secondary school) about the "everyone was born with the same brain" theory, she said teachers will definitely say that's not true.
In a school, teachers teach not only A class, but also the back classes. And there definitely are differences in these students sitting in these different classes. Some students nodded their heads, without understanding a single thing. Which was why Additional Mathematics are not a compulsory subject for the back classes.

But life isn't only about succeeding academically.
Those who scored As in their exams are never guaranteed the success in life.
And there are many other successful people in the world that do not have As to brag about but have estates and properties to.
Even "success" itself is a very subjective matter.
Some people view having millions of RMs in their bank account as success.
Some people view success as having good, nice and happy family even when they can't afford to go on a holiday trip every school holiday.

So if we see the human population as a whole, I believe not everyone was born with the same brain, but none was born with a better brain. These brains do not have the same capacity and potential, but they are unique on its own. A proof of the greatness of the Almighty God.

But, life is also a test.
God created us in such a way that our brains have their own capabilities. Whether or not we discover the talent, the specialty and nurture them the correct way, is up to us.

On the same ground, I totally disagree with parents who put too high of hope and expectations on their children, hoping them to score very well in exams. Some students do not have their "specialty" in academics, I think parents MUST accept that when their children do not perform that well in school (provided the child did not deliberately did badly for exam just to get attention from parents etc).

-Because life is a test

Sunday 1st August 2010